With the clock ticking on the last day of the legislative session, the House unexpectedly spent close to four hours debating a bill that would ban the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) from use in paper receipts.

The bill hasn’t been especially controversial throughout the legislative process. The Senate passed it on a consent calendar just two days earlier. Before that it passed the General Law Committee unanimously and the Environment Committee 21-6.

Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford, said Republicans were likely questioning the bill extensively to kill time in an effort to prevent Democratic bills from being raised.

The Senate had already amended the measure to address the concerns of Republicans in that chamber, he said. The bill was changed so that rather than banning the substance by 2013, businesses would have until 2015, he said.

Meyer said it was important the legislature passed the measure since studies have shown the chemical to be highly toxic.

“The obstruction of this bill is strongly against the public interest,” he said.

Republicans offered a strike-all amendment that would have replaced the bill with a call to establish a study of the chemical, which was rejected 94-52.

At around 8:30 p.m. the bill was passed 112-33.